What I Read in February

Friday, March 1, 2019


I made it through six books in February, all of them good ones. I likely would've read more had I need been out of town for five days for a work conference, which had me, well, working non-stop, which left absolutely zero time for reading. Still, I can't complain about six, right?

My plan was originally to read only books by black authors during Black History Month, & I am a little embarrassed to note that I didn't stick to that at all. The last three books on this month's list were all ones I'd been on long waitlists for, & I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read them when they became available to me. More importantly, I am committed to reading authors of color's voices all year long, not just during February, & I suppose that's what really matters? I'd like to make up for it a bit in March, though. (If you're trying to do the same, start with my recent post, "For Black History Month & Beyond: 15 of My Favorite Books (so Far) by Black Authors.")

March's TBR list includes Michelle Obama's Becoming, which I have to finish before I see her live in the CLE (!), & Angie Thomas's On the Come Up, which was my most recent Book of the Month Club pick. I'm also halfway through Tiffany Haddish's The Last Black Unicorn on audiobook & Maid by Stephanie Land, another BoTM pick.

Ummm, speaking of BoTM, this month, I chose not one, not two, but three new books. Get a free book if you sign up with my referral code, & join me in this monthly obsession.

What are you reading this month? Here are my January reads.

Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock

After a long waitlist, I finally got this audiobook again from the library & got to finish it up. I started listening in the fall! I love Mock, her writing, & her narration style, so this was the perfect memoir for listening rather than reading. Anyone who's read Mock's first memoir, Redefining Realness, will want to follow up on her story & her insights with this second installation & look into her life. ★★★★★

I'm Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya

Shraya is a trans musician, writer, & visual artist who writes about her past experiences withs men, both while living as a woman & as an effeminate queer young man (prior to recognizing, in adulthood, her desire to transition). This is a very short memoir, but it's a powerful, worthwhile one that all women will relate to in some way, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Bustle called it "an essential guide to being a good ally to trans women," too, so, you know. Read it. ★★★★★

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I started an HP reread because why not? I'd long been wanting to, but I was moved to start when I learned that it was available to borrow for free via Prime Reading - only to discover, when I finished, that it's the only book in the series available to borrow. Ugh! I don't even have a review here, of course, because this series is golden & this book is golden, & now I need to read all the others again, ASAP. Goodbye forever. ★★★★★

Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America's Most Storied Hospital by David Oshinsky

A coworker recommended this book, & while I wouldn't normally have thought it up my alley, I found it fascinating. I listened to it on audiobook, learning the storied history of New York City's Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the United States - including its founding, its significant medical progress, its controversial psychiatric ward, its handling of 9/11 & Hurricane Sandy, & of course, its early & ongoing racism/xenophobia/anti-Semitism. ★★★★★

Educated by Tara Westover

I read this one for my work book club, but the library waitlist was so long that I just bought it. I'm glad I did, because this is a can't-miss memoir. Westover grew up in rural Idaho in a family of Mormon survivalists who didn't believe in government-run education. Her parents claimed she was home-schooled, but in reality, Westover & her siblings received no education whatsoever. Despite her family's unconventional ways, her father's destructive & untreated bipolar disorder, & significant abuse by an older brother, Westover went on to receive her PhD from Cambridge. ★★★★★

American Fire: Love, Arson, & Life in a Vanishing Land by Monica Hesse

This is another I listened to on audiobook, which I felt like one long podcast. (I think that's my new favorite way to read nonfiction.) How did this story not make bigger news?! Starting in 2012, someone set more than 60 fires in Accomack County, VA, mostly to abandoned buildings. Local law enforcement did everything within their power to catch the perpetrator(s), but in the meantime, fighting & investigating the fires depleted local resources & plagued residents. ★★★★★

Tell me what you're reading, then add me on Goodreads to keep in touch & see what I've read in months past. You can also follow my bookstagram account!

My "What I Read in..." posts include Amazon affiliate links to the titles I discuss. If you buy a book using one of these links, I will receive a small percentage of commission. Please don't feel any obligation to use these links, but if you do, it will help me buy more books.

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